Who Put the Pickle in the Fruit Salad
This book is a mystery of sorts; a collection of poems and southern, dysfunctional family and friends’ recipes and is dedicated to Brittany and Ashley, the first of the fourth generation, who have the challenging opportunity to make the Foust blood-lineage a real family at long last … but only if they do it together. They are our last hope.
Here is an excerpt:
I hated Sunday mornings, except for the three months of Summer during each of my first eleven years. Hastily, the occupants of the house moved in and out of rooms readying for the trip to hear Brother Lee, the ancient spokesman, deliver his sermon: The gospel according to the Missionary Baptist Church.
The tyranny of the morning was exceeded only by the minefield of the afternoon. The sense of urgency existed because salvation was mandated by Uncle Walter, Daddy's brother. Even in the midst of the spiritual feeding frenzy, my Mother, odd-shaped and insecure, was consumed by one of the seven sins ... jealousy. To her way of thinking, her justification was about twenty years old and the younger sister of Daddy's best friend. Yes, Sister Darlene made diligent efforts to provide Mother with a version of hell on earth.
Poor Mother, she gave birth to the seven deadly sins....us; I was the oldest of four boys and three girls. Each of us as different as night and day, yet the same. I wished, for my Mother, a period of self-indulgence instead of concern for over-due bills and insatiable demands from seemingly uncaring off spring, and an ill-tempered spouse. I remember in particular (as a 16 year old with non-existent expertise in anything but attitude) behaving badly at the reluctant announcement of yet another baby to swell the throng. That baby was the last sister. I wasn't privy to the moment when Daddy was notified. However, his reaction could have been any one of the numerous nocturnal eruptions that exploded regularly. Certainly, he had played no role in this revolting development. Now, unlike then, I can actually smile at the recollection of Daddy, jaw in hand, exclaiming in agony that his "toothache hurt worse than any labor pain a woman could have". Oh, if only! Anyway, the quality of his silence could be likened to that of a gun dog pointing at a bird. Or the cliché calm before the storm. A series of storms that continued for over a quarter century.
My Mother's characteristics were inherited from her gentle parents. Death spared her years of unhappiness. She died young, in her sleep, next to Daddy.
Daddy died old; so old there was nothing left for him to do but reminisce; knowing all memories were beyond salvation.
- Fideli Publishing, April 2011
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